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Category Archives: DIY (do it yourself)

Through the windows

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The other day I was on Pinterest and  I saw some old windows hanging on a wall and thought that it was a great idea. It looked so vintagy rustic. Then I remembered that somewhere in a barn I had a set of 3 old windows gathering dust and cobwebs. I got them in the house and cleaned them all up then got some hardware to hang them. They are now in my office gathering dust on the wall. I’m thinking of doing something with the panes. Seeing the wood wall is nice but I’m thinking that a frosty with a motif effect could put a nice touch.

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I really liked the little pieces of hardware and the crack in one pane. It brings a little special touch to the look. I’m quite happy with how my office is turning to be. These windows were found through Kijiji. I picked them up many years ago thinking of turning them into some frames. As with many of my great intentions the windows found their way in the pile of things I can transform. I’m glad to put them to use after all.

I could see them being painted in a off white shabby chic style in a more modern house. There’s many ways to customize their look or to use them.

Building the Single Speed

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I always liked fixed gears bikes. They are so “rad”! It was time for me to have my very own. Buying one already made remove all the fun to build your own. Since I love dismantling bikes it was a good lesson to actually build something for once. So there I was looking for a frame my size I could use for this purpose.

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I was looking for a older frame that had beautiful classic lines and not too many decals or colors so I could make it sleek looking. I didn’t had far to go to find it. I already had a sad looking 12 speed silver with black accents Norco Monterrey sitting in my pile with a crappy drivetrain that was rusty and in bad shape but the frame was in very good condition. I then stripped the Norco apart to leave just the bare frame. It was relatively easy to do. Most of older frame gets seized parts on them and they are very hard to remove. I didn’t even had to use the torch on this guy. Once all the parts were removed I hung the frame and fork in my shower stall in the basement and cleaned it all up with Dawn dish soap. I find that soap to be very good for that purpose. Then it was left to dry.

I then had to pick my color scheme. I debated for days until I re-discovered an old dusty rose suede Turbo saddle while looking for parts. I knew I wanted to stick with that color. I also found a vintage Nitto black quill to go along. Then I payed a visit to my friend at Cafe Roubaix in Cochrane (www.caferoubaix.ca) and he showed me a nice set of Suzue classic deep dish aluminum wheel he got. That was love at first sight! Those wheels have a 10 speeds freewheel. I had to get a spacer kit to convert to a single speed. He also showed me a few options for square taper cranks that were available. Pake makes those great single speed cranks and they made the one I like in a dusty rose color. A perfect fit for my Turbo saddle. I ordered the parts and took my new set of wheels home. My build was going very well.

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One week end I decided to pay a visit to my friends at Good Life Community Bike Shop (www.goodlifebikes.ca) in Calgary. If you don’t know these guys and you love vintage or rad bikes, they are the ones to go see. I like to go there to find odd ball parts for my bike builds. That day I left with a set of Soma track bars and a matching dusty rose seat post. That was a lucky day.

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I started assembling the bike together and I realized I needed some brakes. I picked a set of cross bike brakes to go on the flat portion of the bar. They fit very well and are not too bulky looking.

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The build was a process. The thing with building a older frame with new parts is that things don’t always fit. They often don’t fit. You got to use some tinkering to make things work but they can work.

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So here I am with the my single speed bike that I can’t call a fixie because its got brakes and a freewheel. I like it anyways.

 

No bells or whisles

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After watching many black and white movies I fell the need to have my very own rotary phone. I thought it would look great on my old secretary oak desk. It didn’t took too long for me to find one. Jason’s Corner in Calgary is one of my favorite place to shop antiques and vintage. Unfortunately the phone I like the best didn’t ring it’s bell. But I still got it. It’s 50’s look was too appealing to leave it behind.

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Once home I played a bit with it and then decided to opened it up to find out why the phone had gone mute. These old phones are quite simple and a ringer should not go out of work for a simple reason. Here’s how I did it. On my Automatic Electric phone there’s 6 screws on the bottom. Only 3 of them are for the base montage. The other 3 are holding the gut of it. On mine, the montage screws were indicated.

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Once the screws were removed. The top easily gets off to expose the guts. It is very important that the ringer parts are not touched. They are filled with electricity and they old a charge even when not plugged.

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So, I followed the wiring of the ringer to see where they led. They were doubling up some of the numbers on the one side leaving a free space. I wasn’t too sure which of the 2 doubled up was the one I needed to move but I assumed that it would be the one red sitting on top not the blue wire under the number 9. The number 7 was free of any wires. I then moved the red to the number 7 and called my land line with my cell phone. Success! The phone rang loud and clear.

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Later I made a quick research on my phone and I was reading that they used to make that wrong wiring to mute the phones as there are no mute on those. Makes total sense and it’s a real easy thing to do. The loudness can be adjusted but even on the bare minimum it can still be loud.

My phone works nicely and I use it from time to time. It’s been a blessing for when my cordless runs out of batteries! I don’t even complain when I’m forced into using it. No one can tell I’m talking to them from a rotary phone. I’m not sure it would work when you need to press numbers on a call but to dial people there’s no issue. Now when I don’t want it to ring I just pull the cord. It’s a nice decorative item and practical at the same time.

For those who would like to visit Jason’s Corner. Their address is 3714 17 Avenue SE, Calgary. They have lots of nice things. Go check ’em out!